Science & Technology Issue 12

This issue of Science and Technology looks at the roll out of Horizon 2020  with the first steps now being taken for Europe to grow, and at the continued implementation of the European Research Area (ERA) at the national level, all serve to suggest that Europe’s research and development landscapes is improving.

What new research is Europe focusing on?

  • Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission, met with Science and Technology at the EuroScience Open Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark, to discuss some of the successes she has had since her appointment in 2012 and her hopes for the new commission, her own future, and the future of her position;
  • Discussing the Digital Agenda, the importance of self and co-regulation, the Digital Research Agenda and the priorities of the next commission, Science and Technoloy speaks with Robert Madelin, director general of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology; and
  • Science and Technology met with CERN’s Dr Manjit Dosanjh at the EuroScience Open Forum, who outlined how cancer treatments stand to benefit from developments made by the physics community, her work within the European Network for Light Ion Hadron Therapy (ENLIGHT), and the biggest challenges facing the wider use of proton therapies.

How is health policy changing in the EU?

  • Important changes to the EU’s legislation on medical devices are discussed here by the Commissioner for Consumer Policy, Neven Mimica, who expresses his wish to ensure patient safety while promoting innovation by implementing the right policies, and who shares his hopes for the next European Commission and for increasing international co-operation; and
  • Science and Technology speaks to the Council of European Dentists’ president, Dr Wolfgang Doneus, on issues facing the profession in Europe today, such as the on-going revision of the European Union’s directives regarding medical devices and the possible closer involvement of EU leaders in the profession, as well as the opportunities presented by nanomaterials for the field of dentistry.

What is the commission implementing to improve the environment?

  • Commissioner for International Co-operation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, outlines how the Union reacted to recent flooding in the Balkans with emergency support measures, including both immediate response and longer term financial aid such as the €3m released for humanitarian assistance; and
  • The European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture’s president, Patrick Wrixon, discusses potential impacts of new reforms to the European Commission’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – particularly with regard to farming in the UK – and how integrated farming can help inspire sustainable living as a way of life.

Does research and development have gender equality?

  • Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, director of Portia Ltd and co-convenor of the Gender Summits, speaks to Pan European Networks about the newest instalment of the summits, which PEN attended in Brussels as official media partner, and which took ‘enhancing quality of research and innovation’ as its theme, as well as how the summits are reaching out across the globe in an increasingly coherent effort to address the gender question; and
  • Dr Wanda Ward, from America’s National Science Foundation (NSF) discusses cross-continental efforts to address the gender question, including a further exploration of the five priority areas for action that rose out of the presentations and discussions at the third Gender Summit, which was held in the USA.
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